How to worry and let it overtake your life.
The first in an occasional series of "How to..." blogs.
First give yourself plenty of dead thinking time. By that I mean push all ideas of doing something good for yourself away and focus only on the things that will cause you to worry.
Repeat the same worry over and over again in your mind. It really helps to say it out loud too and lots of times so it becomes really firmly wired into your way of thinking.
Inflate it. Make a visit to the dentist (for example) one of the most awful experiences you are ever going to have. Make time in the days running up to the appointment to think about it in the most terrible way possible. Use words like dread, awful, miserable, extreme, excruciating, embarrassing, worst, as often as possible.
Think about the worry in the largest way possible. So the visit to dentist then becomes more than those few seconds when you may feel a little twitch. Create in your mind the most painful journey there with angst and tension and bad drivers and misery. Make sure you extend the worry for as long as possible around the actual event.
Keep it to yourself. Believe firmly that a problem shared is a problem doubled. In the event that you do tell someone else make sure it is someone who has the same way of worrying as you. That way a problem shared will be a problem doubled! It also has the added benefit of reinforcing your belief that a problem shared is a problem doubled. Wow! A double whammy there!
Go over the worst case scenario until you believe that it will actually happen.
Choose a simple behaviour or gesture to accompany the worry. That way you can connect to it really quickly. Wringing your hands for example, or cracking your knuckles or chewing your nails.
When you begin your worry, focus on breathing in short shallow breaths. Sigh frequently. Tense your muscles.
Even though you have managed to get this far in life with all those other worries make absolutely no attempt to go back and review how well you coped.
Ensure you stick to the serious issues in life; bad news, national and international disasters, terrible situations. Under no circumstances allow yourself an opportunity to laugh or give yourself access to anything funny or humorous. If you want to fuel the worry, laughter is one of the quickest ways of getting rid of it.
Dismiss all thoughts that there is a way out of this. Remind yourself that not even one single small thing will make it any better in even a small way.
Get the idea? If you recognise any of these brilliant strategies for getting yourself into a right tizz and would like to look at different ways to manage worrying do get in touch!